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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 16°C
Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
# Court
Man stabbed to death after being mistaken for a gang member had a 'heart of gold', court hears
Adil Essalhi suffered 50 stab and chop wounds before his killers tried to set fire to his body.

A YOUNG MAN who was mistaken for a gang member and stabbed to death in a field had a “heart of gold and a bright future”, his mother told a sentencing hearing for his killer at the Central Criminal Court yesterday.

Michael Kinsella (24), of Swiftbrook Close in Tallaght, pleaded guilty last December to the manslaughter of 29-year-old Adil Essalhi who was killed on January 6, 2011.

Mr Essalhi suffered 50 stab and chop wounds before his killers tried to set fire to his body and then dumped it in a ditch in Tyrrelstown in Tallaght.

Justice Deirdre Murphy adjourned the sentencing after hearing from Mr Essalhi’s mother Geraldine. Ms Essalhi said that her son’s death had destroyed her family.

The events of January 6 2011 have shattered our once care-free and unified family,” she said. “Our precious Adil, a kind and loving man with a heart of gold and a bright future ahead of him, was taken so viciously from us.

She said that she wonders if she could have saved her son and that she wishes every day for him to walk through the door “with his cheeky smile wide across his face.”

This will never happen again and the enormity of this reality has destroyed my family.Adil used to tell his friends that I am his queen. He adored his family and we adored him. I can only thank God for the 29 years we shared with him and pray that God helps us through the rest.

She said Adil had done nothing to cause his death, other than to trust people he should not have trusted. “They say time is the greatest healer,” she added.

A nightmare that never ends

“But time does not heal this. For us the nightmare never ends.”

Detective Sergeant Dan Callaghan of Blanchardstown Garda Station told counsel for the prosecution Kerida Naidoo SC that Michael Kinsella’s uncle, Wayne Kinsella, was convicted of murder for his part in Mr Essalhi’s death.

He said that Wayne and Adil met in a pub in Dublin City Centre and spent the day drinking together before heading to a party at an apartment in Tallaght. Michael Kinsella was at the party and at some point a suspicion arose that Mr Essalhi had been involved in the murder of a member of the Kinsella family in Finglas.

Wayne and Michael brought Mr Essalhi outside, telling him they were going to another party. When they reached a field near the apartment, they stabbed him to death with what state pathologist Marie Cassidy said were weapons consistent with a knife and a machete.

Counsel for Mr Kinsella, Patrick Marrinan SC, said that reports submitted to the court showed that his client has been in detention centres for most of his life since the age of 14. He said that apart from his father, he had no positive influences in his life and that he came from an “extremely difficult” family background.

He said that the State’s acceptance of his manslaughter plea showed that he did not have the necessary level of intent to be convicted of murder.

He pointed to a report submitted to the court which showed that Mr Kinsella was afraid that if he did not take part in the killing his uncle Wayne would attack him.

‘An extremely dangerous man’

He described Wayne Kinsella as an “extremely dangerous man” and said that his client has the intellectual ability of a nine to 12-year-old and is at high risk of being coerced by a more forceful individual.

“One could not imagine a more forceful individual than Wayne Kinsella,” he added.

Referring to interviews in the report, Mr Marrinan said that after his uncle stabbed Mr Essalhi a number of times Michael Kinsella told him he had had enough. His uncle told him to “do him or he was going to do me too”, so he stabbed him a number of times.

Mr Marrinan said that his client is now seeing a psychologist and has been attending education classes while in custody for other offences.

He said that he has shown genuine remorse and accepts that Mr Essalhi had no involvement in the death of his relative.

Det Sgt Callaghan said Mr Kinsella has 30 previous convictions, including for burglary and driving offences.

Justice Deirdre Murphy said she has a lot to consider and adjourned the sentencing until April 25.

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